“The (First) Impression That I Get:” Options for Memphis Regionals

The meta is somewhat static, with a few clear best decks, and several other tier two or three options. This means Memphis Regionals should have a predictable meta, making it an easy tournament to prepare for. This article is here to display the options that I consider to be the top tier, along with some lists for other decks and explanations of why they are not your best option for Memphis.

Before I get into each deck, this is my tier list of the popular options or other decks I have on my radar.

Tier 1

  • Golisopod Zoroark
  • Gardevoir
  • Registeel Genesect

Tier 2

  • Tapu Bulu Vikavolt
  • Greninja
  • Buzzwole decks
  • Silvally Metal
  • Decidueye Zoroark
  • Garbodor decks

Tier 3

I do not see anything else popularly played or discussed as lower than tier two.

Decks I am unsure of where to categorize

  • Volcanion
  • Darkrai Zoroark
  • Zoroark Lycanroc

That should cover everything that is looked at currently, but I could be missing a deck. Let me know if you think there should be something else on the list in the comments.

Golisopod/Zoroark and Gardevoir are obvious top tier decks, and I doubt many people are disputing this. Gardevoir can beat anything on the tier list and so can Golisopod, which is why they are on top. However, most people do not see Genesect as a top tier option; they usually lump it in with Silvally and call it Tier 2. I won a cup last weekend with Genesect and while this is not a groundbreaking accomplishment, it gave me real insight to how the deck performs in tournaments. The results were very attractive. Positive matchups against both other top-tier options is a very strong trait, but the real stand-out trait is that it actually beats other decks as well. Usually, the issue with meta counters is that they do not do well against the decks they don’t expect. This is not an issue for Genesect.

Tier 2 is a culmulation of all the other decks that people are talking about and hyping, but have some sort of major flaw that prevents them from being top tier. The big problem with three of the five options is that they are evolution-based, with not enough of an upside to warrant the inconsistency that comes along with a Stage 2 deck. Gardevoir can get away with this issue because it has an amazing GX attack, an amazing normal attack, and an amazing Ability. On the other hand, Decidueye cannot get away with it, because two extra damage per turn is just not good enough.

The decks I am unsure of are the ones I have not tested with recently. I hear good things about Zoroark Lycanroc from some good players, and for that reason, I feel like it could be strong. Darkrai Zoroark is not something I have tested enough in the new format to know if it is going to work. Volcanion is probably just a Tier 2 option, but I feel it has a shot at being better than that because I have a hunch it can be built to beat Golisopod Zoroark.

It might seem counterproductive to post lists for decks that I suggest nobody plays, but I figure some of you will not take my advice, and I would rather you use a good list for a sub-optimal play than a bad one. This is why I have free lists for Buzzwole and Decidueye Zoroark.

Buzzwole Octillery

I really wanted to make this work. I tried for a good nine hours over the last three days to make a list that could compete with the other options, but the common problem I had was Mewtwo. Basically any Golisopod Zoroark deck playing Mewtwo (EVO) is going to hand you a loss. This was too much of a flaw for me. The prevalence of Max Potion right now is another deterrent. Hands I drew from Abyssal Hand commonly bricked. There were several instances where I could not draw anything off Abyssal Hand because I had too many energy in hand, or the cards I drew off Abyssal Hand were nothing I really needed.

Pokémon – 13 Trainers – 35 Energy – 12
 3 Buzzwole GX  4 Professor Sycamore  1 Field Blower  4 Strong Energy
 2 Rockruff  4 N  1 Rescue Stretcher  8 Fighting Energy
 2 Lycanroc GX (GRI 74)  4 Guzma  1 Super Rod
 2 Remoraid (BKT)  1 Plumeria  3 Choice Band
 2 Octillery  1 Acerola  4 Ultra Ball
 1 Regirock EX  4 Max Elixir
 1 Tapu Lee GX  3 Brooket Hill  4 Float Stone

This list was built with a main goal of dealing with the brick hands I kept getting. Plumeria is a cute tech that does this by discarding two cards and getting rid of a Fairy energy against Gardevoir. Plumeria is nice against Golisopod Zoroark as well because they will need two attachments to power up a Crossing Cut; using Plumeria on a Grass will cut them short.

I cut the ninth Fighting in favor of a Super Rod because of those brick hands full of Fightings. This deck also does not have great Elixir odds, so you can Rod the Fightings back into the deck towards the mid- to late game for that reason. Another recovery card is always welcomed in this sort of deck as well, considering there are multiple one-of Pokemon and two somewhat thin Stage-1 lines.

The Zygardes seem very unnecessary in this format because Garbodor is essentially out of the picture. The typing was really the only benefit I see to these cards, but now even the typing is poor (because of Golisopod). The fourth Buzzwole also does not work as well as another Float because this deck needs a heavy amount of switching, and with two recovery cards, you can recover Buzzwole, if need be. I also like Float because it is easily playable in those hands that need to be thinned down, whereas another Buzzwole frequently cannot be benched.

Lastly, I want to explain why I kept the fourth Guzma because I know many people cut the card. If you are using Knuckle Impact on Turn 2 of most games, you will need the switching effect from Guzma very frequently. Guzma is also the card that wins you the game most of the time, so an extra copy of your win condition is always nice. In short, consistency is king.

Decidueye Zoroark

Pokémon – 20 Trainers – 33 Energy – 7
 3 Zorua (SLG 52)  4 N  4 Ultra Ball  4 Double Colorless
 2 Zoroark GX  4 Professor Sycamore  4 Rare Candy  3 Grass
 4 Rowlet  2 Brigette  3 Max Potion
 2 Dartrix  2 Guzma  2 Field Blower
 4 Decidueye  1 Mallow  2 Float Stone
 2 Tapu Lele EX  2 Rescue Stretcher
 1 Espeon GX  2 Choice Band
 1 Mewtwo (EVO)  1 Evo Soda
 1 Tapu Koko

This is nothing too groundbreaking, but I felt somebody should post an good updated list including Max Potions in an article. You can look on YouTube for a list somewhat similar, but really we don’t have much of a reliable deck list source outside of article sites.

Max Potions are huge in this meta for dealing with Golisopod and basically any matchup. The 240 HP is very hard for any deck to oneshot, so we take advantage of that with three complete healings.

I do not have a lot to say about this deck because I see it as one of the worst options right now. The deck has a huge problem with Parallel City, which is the only reason we have two Blowers instead of one. In general, bench space is an issue for the deck. Gardevoir is not actually a favorable matchup either. This idea that the deck has a better Gardevoir matchup than Golisopod Zoroark is just false. Moreover, it is a Stage 2 deck, which means it will naturally be less consistent than Zoroark Golisopod. And that is really the reason why I do not like this deck: I see it as directly inferior to Golisopod Zoroark. Speaking of which…

Zoroark Golisopod

I covered this deck with a lot of detail before the last Expanded Regionals, but that was when the deck was not thought of as top tier. It was mostly seen as an inferior version of the Sky Field Zoroark variant, which I still heavily contest. However, in Standard Zoroark Golisopod is accepted as either the best deck in the format or second best. For that reason, I wanted to dedicate a lot of article space to it. The majority of this piece will be on this deck.

I am here to convince you that Zoroark Golisopod is the broken best deck, not just a good deck among a larger top tier. Players are running around with these weird decks, that do not actually beat Garde or Golisopod Zoroark, as if this does not disenfranchise the archetype entirely. Maybe this is as a result of playing against poor Zoroark Golisopod players and beating them because of the huge skill gap Golisopod has. This is the hardest deck in this format to play. This was true last season with Tord’s Drampa Garbodor list; it amazes me how Tord can keep making such hard decks to use!

For this deck, I do have some creative inclusions and interesting cuts. In Tord’s list there was a lot of room for creativity, since the predicted meta is completely different today. This is the list:

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2 thoughts on ““The (First) Impression That I Get:” Options for Memphis Regionals

  1. quick question. with the addition of Celesteela, it seems like something like a one of ninja boy could make for some interesting plays and allow you to stream KOs back to back after using the GX attack. given how well zoroark can get resources like a 1 of ninja boy into hand, i was wondering about your thoughts?

    1. Hey, I’m skeptical of Ninja boy because it would be hard to get into play at the right time. You would probably have to Lele to get it at the right time, but most of the time you’re probably using Ninja boy to get a Lele out of play.

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